PAT Testing News Round-Up - Issue 32

This issue covers:

  • Your free invitation to Hannover Messe
  • Fire service warning
  • New 'press and print' PAT
  • ESC product safety round table
  • Apollo rises to the PAT challenge
  • Dyson heater product recall

Your free invitation to Hannover Messe

Seaward Group will be exhibiting at Hannover Messe, Germany on 7-11 April 2014. Come and visit us at: Hall 12 - Stand number E01 where we will be exhibiting a leading range of electrical test and measurement equipment from our Clare, Cropico, Seaward and Solar brands.

You can register for your free visitor pass to the exhibition here.

Please register for your eticket before the show. The eTicket is valid for the entire duration of Hannover Messe 2014 and also gives you free access to public transport to/from the show in the Greater Hannover (GVH) region on the day of attendance.

If you're planning to go, don't forget to drop by our stand: HALL 12, STAND E01.

Fire service warning

Firefighters have issued electrical safety warnings after two electrical fires in Kent. Following two recent fires in one day in separate properties, Deal Fire Station issued a public notice urging people to not overload plug sockets, unplug appliances when they are not in use and regularly check for worn or frayed wires.

Watch manager Malcolm Cowie said: "These were minor incidents but that is only because of the actions by the people and our quick response."

Kent Fire and Rescue Service head of community safety Stuart Skilton said: “Electrical equipment is an inescapable part of all our lives, from essentials like heating and lights to luxuries like entertainment systems or beauty products.

"Electrical fires can and do break out with very little warning, so it’s vital that you have working smoke alarms on every floor of your home and check them regularly." Full story at

New 'press and print' PAT

Seaward has upgraded its popular PrimeTest 250 manual PAT with the introduction of a special results downloading and easy label printing version of the tester.

The new PrimeTest 250 Plus combines a comprehensive test capability with a number of added value features that make testing fast, simple and highly efficient.

Importantly, the new handheld tester connects directly to a new Test n Tag Pro printer for the immediate, on-demand, production of test labels without any special set up procedures being required. In addition, the new PrimeTest 250 Plus also comes with free test results data logger software to enable test data to be downloaded directly to PC records.

With a large user display and simple push button operation, the lightweight unit is the most compact tester available that provides all the electrical tests required for compliance with the IET Code of Practice for the In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment including RCD trip time, protective conductor current and touch current.

Among a host of other test capabilities is a 3-phase leakage test and a 250V DC insulation test suitable for testing sensitive electrical appliances. Special Seaward ‘zap’ circuit technology (patent pending) is also included to ensure accurate and reliable earth continuity testing.

The new PrimeTest 250 Plus is available in a range of special packages that combine the tester with various PAT accessories, software programs and training aids.

More from

ESC product safety round table

As part of its increasing engagement with Europe and the European Parliament, the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) recently held a roundtable in Brussels to discuss electrical product safety issues.

The event - which attracted MEPs and representatives from The European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers (CECED), the European Engineering Industries Association (Orgalime), Pro-Safe (the product safety enforcement forum of Europe), European consumer bodies and other NGOs – also focused on the forthcoming Consumer Product Safety Regulation and the Market Surveillance Regulation package.

Designed to clarify and simplify EU product safety requirements, the package aims to improve traceability and recalls and strengthen a collaborative approach to market surveillance.

"Current EU rules on market surveillance and consumer product safety are fragmented – scattered over different pieces of legislation – creating gaps, overlaps and confusion", explains Phil Buckle, Director General of the ESC, who chaired the discussion. "Our Brussels roundtable brought together key European stakeholders, to progress our proposed changes to the legislation, which focus on improving recall and traceability."

The ESC has already had some amendments to the legislation tabled, including a requirement for manufacturers and distributors to demonstrate recall capability (if called on), and ensuring vulnerable users are considered when assessing a product's safety.

The charity has also lobbied hard for improvements to the traceability process to be extended through to the consumer from point of sale and offered suggestions as to how this might work. Ideas include the development of a centralised database product registration system or, alternatively, through increased use of product registration cards.

Apollo rises to the PAT challenge

The latest portable appliance testing technology is helping a forward thinking school ensure that the highest safety standards are maintained for pupils and staff at all times.

The Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester is designated as a Science College, and has an estimated 5,000 appliances and items of electrical equipment in use every day in its various classrooms, IT suites, technology laboratories and administration areas.

The school’s health and safety officer has responsibility for electrical safety throughout all school buildings and is using a new Seaward Apollo 600 to establish a rigorous inspection and testing procedures to ensure that all equipment remains safe for use.

The new multi-purpose PAT tester combines electrical testing with sophisticated safety data collection features, including an onboard digital camera, to help those involved in maintaining safety in the workplace to demonstrate compliance with all the latest guidance on inspection and testing programmes.

Formal PAT testing on most equipment is undertaken on a two year cycle, with those electrical items subject to more demanding and heavier use, such as some science and technology apparatus, being tested annually. Importantly, the school also uses special features of the Apollo 600 and its complementary PATGuard 3 software program, to monitor other health and safety conditions across its premises.

For example, the instrument’s integral digital camera is used take high quality images of equipment at the same time as user checks or inspections are carried out to demonstrate the evidence and reasoning behind health and safety judgements taken at a particular time.

Similarly, the emergency lighting and fire alarm system checks and assessments included in the PATGuard 3 software enable the school to log inspections and any issues arising that can be flagged up in reports to staff and heads of departments.

Kieran Williams, health and safety officer at the Thomas Hardye School said: “We follow all the HSE and IET advice on portable appliance testing and the capabilities of the Apollo 600 help us to meet our obligations to providing a safe environment for pupils and staff, not only for electrical testing, but for other important health and safety issues where the risk assessment approach is proving particularly useful.” More details at

Dyson heater product recall

Appliance manufacturer Dyson has announced the voluntary recall of all models of its bladeless fan heaters.

The company is recalling all AM04 and AM05 heaters due to a potential safety issue. Out of a million heaters sold worldwide, the company said that it was aware of a small number that had short-circuited resulting in a small fire contained within the machine.

There have been no instances of injury or property damage, but the company is recalling all machines and implementing a free engineering fix in each one. For details visit


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